According to a recent report by the Sun, Aston Villa are interested in recruiting Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge but are being priced out of a move as the Bluebirds are demanding a high fee during this summer transfer period. The same source has also mentioned that the Villans are facing stiff competition from Liverpool in pursuit of the London born keeper in this off-season.
The Recent Rise Of Neil Etheridge
The Philippines international had an impressive debut campaign in the Premier League as he put in some glorious match-winning performances under Neil Warnock’s stewardship last season. However, his incredible contributions in between the sticks were not enough for Cardiff to avoid relegation to the EFL Championship.
Thus, it is quite likely that Etheridge would want to make a return to top-flight action which could open the door for the Villans to snap him up this summer. However, Cardiff’s high valuation could be a big stumbling block for Dean Smith’s side as they try to build a squad capable of challenging in the Premier League next season.
The 29-year-old has featured in 38 matches for the Welsh outfit in the previous campaign, conceding 69 goals while keeping ten clean sheets across all competitions. If he is protected by a few quality defenders, then we could see the best of what Etheridge can do at the highest level. However, for now, there are still some question marks over his ability to put in good performances on a consistent basis.
What Does Etheridge Offer On The Pitch?
Etheridge made a name for himself when he saved a few penalties for the Bluebirds during the first half of the last campaign. He is an excellent shot-stopper and has outstanding positional awareness. However, he needs to work on his ball-distribution and handling skills if he wants to be a world-class keeper someday.
Is The Phillippines International The Right Choice For Smith’s Team?
The addition of a player of Etheridge’s experience will undoubtedly bolster Deam Smith’s goalkeeping options at Villa Park. The West Midlands side are in dire need of a reliable number one so that they have an ideal platform to have a successful season next term.
However, if Cardiff does not lower their asking price, then it would be wise for Smith to opt for an alternative goalie as Etheridge has not shown enough on the pitch to command a high fee in the transfer market.
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